Join Date: Apr 2012
Location: Calgary, Canada
I did this recently. Fully loaded with a week worth of camping gear, going up to 5800 ft, via the Kootenay Pass (Salmo to Creston BC). The pass decently steep and we were heading east to Creston. It's steep to the point where I remember driving it years ago with a 1997 Nissan Pathfinder and I had to floor it and couldn't hold 50 mph.
Overall, I would say the bike performed admirably. In 6th gear I could easily hold 60 - 65 MPH the entire way. By dropping down a gear, I could pop it over 75 MPH+ without too many concerns. It certainly wasn't a rocket, but I could pass any vehicle along the way without going full throttle (but close). I would consistently walk away from my riding partners Yamaha Road King 1600.
Would I like more power? Of course! But overall, the DL650 is all that I have needed. It's not a rocket, but as long as your goal is to keep close to the speed limit and enjoy the scenery, you are going to be satisfied. I came from a high torque R1200C and after a 3500 km trip, I can say that I am more satisfied with the performance of this bike on the highway.
Edit: that 3500 km trip went from Calgary > Waterton Park > Going to the Sun Highway (Glacier) > Kalispell > Sandpoint > Spokane > Grand Coulee Dam > Chelan > Leavenworth > Anacortes > Sidney > Victoria > Qualcom Beach > Tofino > Sidney > Anacortes > Winthrop > Highway 20 across to Tiger > Creston > Cranbrook > Crowsnest > Calgary. Never once during that entire trip did I feel I was short on power.
Note - I'm not a light - over 200 lbs.
2012 DL650 EXP
Designed for outdoor use
Last edited by mountainpete; 07-30-2012 at 01:13 AM.